1. Bing Bong (Richard Kind) - Inside Out
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    It’s a testament to the extraordinary levels of invention achieved in Pixar’s fifteenth film that a character named Bing Bong, the imaginary friend of Riley, did not turn out to be an irritating bit of comic relief afterthought. It is all the more impressive that, in a film quite literally brimming with emotions – the lead characters are named Joy and Sadness – a pink elephant-cat-dolphin hybrid could steal the film’s most poignant moment of all.
  2. Mark Watney (Matt Damon) – The Martian
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    In space, as Ridley Scott told us once previously, no one can hear you scream. So when he’s stranded alone on Mars, Matt Damon’s enormously likeable Mark Watney has no option but to get on with things. A tribute to the spirit of dogged determination and sheer positive thinking, Watney’s ingenious solutions to his unimaginably trying circumstances somehow wring great entertainment. And the video diaries, in which he’s essentially talking to himself for months, are a constant source of upbeat
  3. Shaun The Sheep (Justin Fletcher) - Shaun The Sheep The Movie
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    This year’s only feature from Bristol’s Aardman Animations flew under most people’s radar, perhaps because it was erroneously seen as a mere ‘family-friendly’ affair. They missed out on a treat. Justin Fletcher - best known to pre-school tikes and tired parents as CBBC celebrity Mr. Tumble - provides Shaun’s various baas and bleats, but the ever-charming, ever-resourceful Shaun is essentially a silent movie star
  4. Diana (Tilda Swinton) - Trainwreck
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    There’s a particular expression to watch for in people’s faces when you tell the unaware that, yes, the perma-tanned, Janet Street-Porter-esque Diana really was Tilda Swinton: it’s a slow-dawning sunrise of shock. Swinton vanished into the character, and though she’s only in a few scenes of Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow’s winning comedy, she might as well be dressed as a thief, because she steals every moment she’s on screen.
  5. Butch the T-Rex (Sam Elliott) - The Good Dinosaur
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    Dinosaur movies typically showcase the Tyrannosaurus Rex as a fearsome, bloodthirsty, alpha-dino, an almighty villain. In a characteristically deft move, Pixar turned the king of the prehistoric beasts into a tough but friendly family of cattle farmers, with the sonorous tones of Sam Elliott – essentially a real-life cowboy – voicing the family’s patriarch. His folksy wisdom around the campfire brings some of the film’s best lines. “If you ain't scared,” he observes, “you ain't alive.”